Online shopping was booming well before the COVID-19 crisis, but restricted access to retail spaces during the pandemic accelerated the trend even further. The limits of digital shopping experiences have also become apparent, however – at least in terms of their emotionality. That said, there are other trends that have been emerging for a while now. The retail market is starting to see something that is a familiar sight in, say, the museum and gaming sectors: the lines between physical and virtual experiences are becoming increasingly blurred. This is giving rise to a new, expanded world of experiences – the metaverse.
The requisite technology is becoming more affordable and accessible. The costs of virtual formats are falling, while the quality and appeal of customer experiences are skyrocketing. At the same time, consumers are expecting more and more from experiences – the same familiar content soon starts to wear thin and lose its impact. Thus, the battle is on to constantly go bigger and better in the experiential industry – virtual reality experiences will gradually replace the internet as we know it today. The more people engage with VR, the more diverse and complex it will become, and so too will the digital stand-ins and avatars we use to explore these new worlds.
But the demands placed on the retail sector are high. If you want to succeed in extended retail, you need to understand its ecosystem. Why? Because limits are a thing of the past in this new world – as are standalone shops.Download whitepaper here